Included in this pre-race letter are a few important race reminders, mostly unrelated to Covid-19
(reminiscent of the 'good old days' when bear attacks and breaking your leg were the biggest concerns!!). Please review them carefully and send us any questions you may have at this point.
The information is sequenced to assist you in planning your weekend, from the moment you arrive until you drive away after the race!
Please take a minute to fill out a SUPER QUICK SURVEY-- We have employed a professional race-announcer this year, and he will be able to do a MUCH better job of announcing you if he has some information to use!!
PLEASE CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK TO ACCESS THE SURVEY:
**At the END of this monster email, we’ve put a copy of the waiver that ALL will be required to sign before you pickup your bib number. We will have plenty of copies on hand at the race-- We are only including the waiver here in case you wanted time to preview it in advance.
PRE-RACE NOTES TO BE AWARE OF:
RACE WEEK COMMUNICATION: We will be extremely busy on the week-of the race, with limited email/phone service. PLEASE make sure you ask your questions in advance of July 17th. Many of your questions will be addressed in our pre-race videos (and during the 100 mile pre-race meeting on Thursday night. Feel free to email questions the week of the race-- Just understand you might not get a prompt reply!
QUESTIONS FROM CREW/PACERS will be directed back to racers: We put the responsibility of educating crew/pacers on each racer
RACE PHOTOS: We are thrilled to announce that CHADWICK photography will be back to offer super-high quality photos-- Free to download for each runner!
WILD ANIMALS: We are 100% sure that there are bears, mountain lions, moose, snakes, mosquitoes, ticks, and many other potentially scary critters on the course. We do not require bear spray-- But if you feel more comfortable carrying it, please do! This is wild country. The bugs do get fierce especially around dusk/dawn-- Aid stations will have bug spray available, but it might be a good idea to bring a small bottle of repellent especially if you are easily bugged by bugs.
STINGING NETTLE: We have cleared, and will continue to cut down, tons of stinging nettle. If you’ve never had the joy of brushing up against this lovely plant, you’ve probably never run the Palisades Ultra! The PUTS race-board recommends wearing tights and/or calf-sleeves or long socks. Arm sleeves might also be effective-- Nettle can grow pretty tall! No matter what-- Try to avoid touching this plant. IF you happen to experience the stinging/itching reaction during the race-- The best first aid is washing with dish soap. All aid stations will have a nettle washing station-- Feel free to help yourself to the soap and water to relieve the stinging!
DNFs: Unlike many races, in which you can drop at just about any aid station-- You really don’t have many options to drop at the PUTS! You are responsible to make smart decisions about whether or not you should continue deep into the backcountry after leaving a drive-up aid station. Please perform frequent ‘self-checks’ and make good decisions about whether or not to continue.
WEATHER REPORT: The long-term forcast is calling for some warmer temperatures… Prepare to stay hydrated while racing! Filtered water will be available at all aid stations-- And for those of you bringing the recommended, personal water filter, you will have ample opportunities to grab your own water along much of the course.
HEADLAMPS: ½ marathoners and 50k runners are not likely to need a headlamp… 50 milers will definitely need one to start the race! All 100-mile runners will be required to have a head-lamp after leaving north indian creek aid station. Recommended that you have a light in your drop-bag.
Dry Canyon aid station: Please note that runners are NOT required to stop at Dry Canyon when you have only 3 miles left on the course. If you need to stop for water or to grab a snack, please do-- But please do not take food that you will not need to get you to the finish line!
DIRECTIONS TO BIG ELK YMCA CAMP/NORTH INDIAN CREEK
From Apine, WY: Head west on US-26 W, with the Palisades Reservoir on your left. Travel roughly 13 miles from Alpine, YW… The Big Elk Creek YMCA Camp is a couple miles down a dirt-road on on your RIGHT (North) side of the highway. WATCH FOR THE BRIGHT ORANGE & WHITE FLAGGING ALONG THE HIGHWAY!!
From Swan Valley/Idaho Falls: Head EAST on US-26, (the palisades reservoir will be on your right). Big Elk Creek YMCA Camp is a few miles past the Palisades Reservoir dam, on the LEFT (North) side of the highway.
North Indian Creek: This aid station is located about 7 miles EAST from the Big Elk Creek YMCA camp. Its on the North side of the reservoir, down a dirt road. Follow clearly posted PUTS signs and the GIANT ORANGE/WHITE FLAGGING ALONG THE HIGHWAY!!
The forest service has asked that NOBODY parks at the Big Elk Trailhead. That includes racers, pacers, and PUTS spectators.
***The 2-mile road to the start/finish is narrow, windy, and borders a steep dropoff. Please drive under 15 mph and be aware of other drivers. Carpool if at all possible!
***All runners are expected to park at the YMCA start/finish line
*** 50k/13.1 mile RACERS arriving on SATURDAY: A traffic attendant will direct you to park at the start/finish line. PLEASE ALLOW FOR A FEW EXTRA MINUTES IF YOU ARE ARRIVING ON SATURDAY MORNING!!
All participants have free tent-camping at the start/finish. There are bathrooms and washing stations and shower facilities with multiple dispersed camping sites. Please be respectful of other racers-- No noisy generators or partying (at least not until after the race is over!)
There is limited space for a few pop-up campers. Giant RVs are probably not the best option at the start/finish, but there is dispersed camping within 5-10 miles for RVs.
We have a limited number of bunks still available--You need to supply your own bedding, but these cabins are a great option for those wanting to get off the ground and have a little more space and privacy away from ‘tent city.’ Reserve your bunkhouse spot for $5 on ultrasignup!
Remember to pick-up your swag-bag and race number! 100 milers packet pickup begins at 4pm on Thursday, and Friday packet pickup for 50 milers/50k/ 13.1 milers begins at 3pm. The 100-mile pre-race meeting is on Thursday night-- All other racers will have a ‘virtual’ pre-race meeting (emailed to you during the week before the race).
Before receiving a bib number, runners will sign a race waiver. The shirt size that you ordered is the size that you will get.
On Saturday morning: Packet pickup starts at 5:30am for the 50k and ½ marathon.
No pre-race meal this year. Bring your own favorite pre-race foods!
CRITTER KIDS 1k:
The ‘kids race’ at 7:30pm on Friday is free -- All critter racers get finisher awards if they show their skills on the trail! Kids should be registered on ultrasignup, and parents will need to sign a waiver before kids are allowed to race.
All drop bags must be clearly marked with runner name and bib number. Drop bags will be returned to the finish line by 1pm on Saturday. Drop bags will only be used at North Indian Creek, except 100 milers can also leave a drop bag at the Big Elk Aid Station located at the start/finish). All runners in the 50k/50m/100 are allowed ONE DROP BAG at North Indian Creek. Drop bags will be taken there immediately following the start of each race.
50k drop bags location: Mile 9
50 mile drop bags location: Mile 9, 29
100 mile drop bags location : Mile 21, 41, 59, 79 (**Drop bag at mile 50, Big Elk Creek, as well)
All racers must check-in on race morning at least 30 minutes prior to your race so that we know you have started the race. If you do not check-in, you will be marked as a DNS (Did not start).
Race-morning Packet-Pickup: Plan to arrive at least 1 hour early to pick-up your packet
100 Mile Start: 6am on Friday
50 Mile Start: 2am on Saturday
50k Start: 7am on Saturday
½ marathon Start: 8am on Saturday
Since your ability to DNF is limited when you are 10 miles from any vehicles, it is not practical for us to have a ton of cutoffs. Racers: You need to be aware of your limitations and pace yourselves appropriately! The following cutoffs are very generous and will be strictly enforced.
½ marathon: Your cut-off to finish the race is 1:00pm (5 hours)
50k, 50 mile, 100 mile: Your finish-line cutoff is 6:00pm on Saturday
North Indian Creek Cutoff is 11am on Saturday for the following mileage points:
50k (mile 9), 50 mile (mile 29), 100 mile (mile 79)
100 milers half-way cutoff: 2am Saturday at Big Elk Start/Finish
REQUIRED RACE GEAR
No matter your distance, this is a WILDERNESS RACE! All racers will be expected to take care of themselves and also to help other racers in need. Carry adequate water and food and a personal first-aid kit. 50/100 milers are highly encouraged to carry a hand-held water filtration system to use on Paradise Loop. GPX map files are available on our website and we HIGHLY RECOMMEND that all racers download their race course onto a GPS watch or a phone. Weather can change quickly-- Carry proper clothing for all conditions. Headlamps are required if there is a chance of nighttime running (50 milers and 100 milers will certainly need headlamps)
ADDITIONAL RACE RULES
All runners must check in and out of every aid station. Runners may not accept aid outside of aid stations (crew may help at North Indian Creek Aid Station). Runners must stay on marked trails at all times, following our highly reflective trail markers and posted directional signs. The only bathroom facilities are located at Big Elk and North Indian Creek Aid Stations-- All other potty stops should be dispersed OFF-TRAIL (not at wilderness aid stations). DOGS: We love dogs! However, due to the amount of runners on the trails, dogs are not allowed to run with racers or pacers. We prefer that you leave canine friends at home-- But if spectators must bring them to the finish area, dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and please clean up after them. We reserve the right to send troublesome dogs to the far end of the campground, away from other spectators.
Aid Stations will be equipped with basic medical supplies and emergency personnel. Anybody in need of an IV will receive a DNF. Also, our aid stations are not equipped to give fluids so please BE WISE!! The finish line is manned by PICK PT Physical Therapy, Dr. Kevin, and NP Brandi Smith (the wife of RD Jeremy Smith). Be nice to all medical personnel and help them do their job by staying hydrated and staying within your capabilities at all times!
A variety of food and drink items including medical supplies and miscellaneous items like bug spray, etc, will be available at all aid stations. Hammer-Gels, Honey Stinger Gels and orange-flavored tailwind are available at every aid station. Standard race fare such as ginger ale, chips, candy, and additional, more substantial foods will also be available. Aid stations are run by VOLUNTEERS who are doing their best to help you finish your race. Please be gracious and supportive of all volunteers-- Any complaints can be made to the race-board at any time, but volunteers are off-limits for complaints!
The 100-mile race is the only race allowing pacers. 100 milers can have 1 pacer at a time, and pacers must wear a ‘pacer’ bib. Pacers can start anytime after mile 41 at North Indian Creek and can be switched at mile 50, 59, or 79.
Racers are responsible for their crew and/or spectators. Please share race rules and info with your crew.
Parking at the start/finish: Spectators/Crew are asked to carpool and DRIVE CAREFULLY!
Parking at North Indian Creek Aid Station: The only spectators allowed will be crew for 50 milers and 100 milers. Parking on the road is just fine once the aid station parking lot is full.
Hiking: Due to the high number of runners on the trail, we ask that non-racers/pacers do not undertake to hike into remote aid stations.
The top 3 male and female finishers for each race will receive AWESOME overall plaques! Additional prizes for top finishers to be announced at a later date :)
Pyramid-shaped plaque with our race logo wood-burned into the front have been crafted for the top-3 of males and females in the following age groups:
20-29;30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+
The ½ marathon has an additional age-group award for the top 3 ages 14-19.
We are doing a ‘grab and go’ meal this year.
All runners will receive a ticket for 1 post-race meal. Family and friends are asked to ‘donate’ a minimum of $5 per person ($20 per family) to eat at the finish line. Please pre-pay for tickets on ultrasignup at the following link: https://ultrasignup.com/shopping.aspx?dtid=33815
CASH ONLY will be accepted at the race.
We could not carry out a race of this magnitude without the help of multiple sponsors. Please show your gratitude to our sponsors by reaching out to them, exploring the possibility of working with them or paying for their services before and/or after the race. Be sure to tell them THANKS for supporting the Palisades Ultra! Sponsors List: Idahoan, Smartwool, Squirrel Nut Butter, Clifbar, Ultraspire, PickPT, and the Teton Running Company.